And the Oscar goes to . . . this double-feature source of architectural and design inspiration: Houses of Los Angeles by Sam Watters (Acanthus Press), two volumes that document the city’s residential architecture from 1885 to 1935. The first volume profiles 38 early houses: the Moorish villas, French Chateaux, and Japanese palaces of the city’s founders—Arthur Letts, Leslie C. Brand, William Andrews Clark Jr., Henry E. Huntington—who first defined “home” in a landscape of Mexican ranchos and Spanish Missions. The second volume brings together downtown residences and mountainside estate houses, built in the 1920s and ’30s by Hollywood celebrities and Los Angeles innovators including movie stars Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, Marion Davies, and publisher William Randolph Hearst.
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